Heidegger's Temple: How Truth Happens When Nothing is Portrayed

Sophia 49 (4):499-507 (2010)
Abstract
In his essay The Origin of the Work of Art, Martin Heidegger discusses three examples of artworks: a painting by Van Gogh of peasant shoes, a poem about a Roman fountain, and a Greek temple. The new entry on Heidegger’s aesthetics in the Stanford Encylopedia of Philosophy, written by Iain Thomson, focuses on this essay, and Van Gogh’s painting in particular. It argues that Heidegger uses Van Gogh’s painting to set art, as the happening of truth, in relation to ‘nothing’, which is a key term in Heidegger’s essays leading up to The Origin of the Work of Art. This paper extends a similar analysis to the Greek temple as a way of offering an exposition of Heidegger’s concerns in the essay. It begins by briefly outlining Thomson’s argument that Heidegger relates Van Gogh’s painting to ‘nothing’, and indicating the way this argument can be extended to the Greek temple. It then discusses three ways in which ‘nothing’ can open up the significance of the temple as a work of art in which truth happens: (1) it is not concerned with objective representation; (2) it depicts the primal strife of earth and world, concealing and unconcealing; (3) it is fundamentally historical
Keywords Heidegger  Aesthetics  Truth  Nothing  Temple
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References found in this work BETA
Martin Heidegger (1998). Pathmarks. Cambridge University Press.
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